Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Showy Stonecrop
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

Family: Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sedum (SEE-dum) (Info)
Cultivar: Purple Emperor
Additional cultivar information: (aka Washfield Purple, Washfield Ruby)


9 vendors have this plant for sale.

24 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Cactus and Succulents

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From leaf cuttings
From herbaceous stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By Gabrielle
Thumbnail #1 of Sedum  by Gabrielle

By Gabrielle
Thumbnail #2 of Sedum  by Gabrielle

By sanannie
Thumbnail #3 of Sedum  by sanannie

By kbaumle
Thumbnail #4 of Sedum  by kbaumle

By Happenstance
Thumbnail #5 of Sedum  by Happenstance

By Terry
Thumbnail #6 of Sedum  by Terry

By Kim_M
Thumbnail #7 of Sedum  by Kim_M

There are a total of 26 photos.
Click here to view them all!


6 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Dec 6, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The rich dark maroon color of the foliage and stems is extraordinary in the garden. I find the flowers less valuable than the striking foliage.

But this is the floppiest tall sedum that I know. The stems will splay out and flop unless supported in some way.

Positive Gabrielle On Feb 28, 2012, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A nicely, dark colored Sedum. Blooms August-September in my garden.

Positive floating_stump On Sep 3, 2009, floating_stump from Grafton, WI wrote:

It starts out purplish green, and gets darker as the summer progresses. The flowers are a lighter, pinkish tone than the leaves. The bees love it, especially the bumbles. It blooms in late august, a little earlier than my other light-green-with-pink-blossoms sedum. It self-seeds, but after a summer, the seedlings have grown to less than two inches tall, so I'm not sure it's worth trying to cultivate any. As others have mentioned, it flops over. Mine opens up in the middle, and the branches flop about halfway down. I'm a little unhappy about this, since I deliberately planted it where I could see it from the house in the winter. Next year I'm going to just put some string around the outside of the plant. I give it a lot of water.

Neutral kd2000 On Nov 17, 2007, kd2000 from toronto
Canada wrote:

Similar to other's comments I have not had great luck with this plant, it splays open in the middle despite pinching in the spring and division. It is a fabulous colour, but unlike my other showy sedums (white, autumn joy) it does not seem to be able to stay erect.

Neutral mystic On Aug 3, 2007, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Received the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), 2006 Award of Garden Merit.

Positive Lady_fern On Oct 22, 2006, Lady_fern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Like "Autumn Joy" and "Frosty Morn" this sedum is best grown through a support to keep it upright. Cattle fencing works well because it is green and can easily be cut to size. The purple foliage is always attractive and is a nice focal point.

Positive saya On Jul 24, 2006, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

In my opinion strong and healthy. For a long time the darkest sedum. Found by Grahaham Cough from plant nursery Washfield, Hawkhurst - Kent.

Positive Terry On May 11, 2006, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Mine are now two years old, and suffered from benign neglect, then frequent transplanting until last year. This spring, they've rebounded and filled out very nicely, with gorgeous coloration. I'm hoping they'll do really well in their (now permanent) home!

Neutral rshepherd On Mar 31, 2006, rshepherd from Grass Lake, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have 3 of these plants and grow them in full sun. I love the foliage, which is beautiful red purple color. All 3 spray out in the middle which is a disappointment to me (maybe thats why it is advertised as ground cover). This spring I have cut off all dead plant material and will pinch them back in intervals throughout the growing season to see what happens. I want to see if I can encourage this plant to grow more upright than on the ground.

Neutral sharonmi On Feb 1, 2006, sharonmi from Westland, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I've only had them for two years, but so far they are a disappointment. They all splayed out in the middle, and the foilage got kinda crispy looking. I will pinch them back hard this spring, maybe that will improve their appearance.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Clayton, California
Elk Grove, California
Pittsburg, California
Denver, Colorado
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Hampton, Illinois
Machesney Park, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Davenport, Iowa
Dracut, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Westland, Michigan
Luverne, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Troy, New Hampshire
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Mooresville, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Clyde, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Clarksville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lexington, Virginia
Stafford, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Lake Forest Park, Washington
Grafton, Wisconsin
Casper, Wyoming

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